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Guy Dauncey gets ready for a "solar tsunami"

As part of the Tar Sands Reporting Project, The Vancouver Observer asked its funders what the energy future looks like to them. Longtime environmentalist, writer and climate change speaker Guy Dauncey says the future will be in solar energy. First in a series.

Photo of Dauncey by solar panel at Cranbrook airport

"Clearly, the world has to work toward 100 per cent renewable energies as soon as possible," said Guy Dauncey, BC-based environmentalist, author and speaker, on the future of energy.

Dauncey said even though the technology is rapidly advancing, people have generally been extremely slow to make the switch to renewable energy. He worries that environmentalists are more focused on opposing energy projects rather than promoting solutions. 

 "What's really clear to me is that you can't change the world by saying 'no' to things, -- You can't just say 'stop the pipeline, the tar sands, stop natural gas, stop oil tankers, coal mines,'" he said.

While Canada continues to invest heavily in Alberta's oil sands, other countries, especially in Europe, have already said 'yes' to renewable alternatives. In Germany, for example, 50 per cent of the nation's electricity came from solar power in June. Especially since its decision to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Germany has been accelerating its investment in clean energy.

"The solar tsunami is already happening in areas around the world. In areas where there are high prices of electricity and there's more sun, it's already cost-effective," Dauncey said. 

"In BC, we've actually got a  great advantage because 92 per cent of our power is green energy, hydro -- and it's not difficult to get to 100 per cent green power. And there's a 'solar tsunami' (energy storage) approaching the province right now."

He says according to the latest reports, the price of installing solar power will become so affordable over the years that any person or business with a roof that doesn't have solar would be "losing money". 

To Dauncey, the future is bright, if only we would turn towards it.

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